With the beginning of Spring, we become more lively and energetic. We naturally want to lighten up, expand and renew ourselves. The energy of Spring is ascending, active and about new beginnings. The green colour dominant in nature nourishes the soul, our appetite for rich warming food is decreased and the body starts a natural cleanse. The pleasant cycle of the season starts again and we see things in new ways.
Many people choose transitional seasons to cleanse, clearing out the old and preparing for the new.To gently encourage the renewal process and to rid the mind, body and soul of what is no longer needed, we must take care of the liver and gall bladder.
Dandelion in Bloom
Bitter foods and herbs offer excellent liver-cleansing effects. Some of these foods are rye, quinoa, romaine, spring greens, asparagus, citrus peel, alfafa, chamomile flowers and milk thistle seeds. Including edible wild plants in your diet from your neighborhood is also helpful as they are usually stronger than cultivated varieties and you only need small amounts to be beneficial.
The sweet flavor in whole grains, legumes, seeds, carrots, beets and honey are helpful in harmonizing liver energy. Adding small amounts of the sour flavour by using apple cider vinegar, rhubarb, lemon, lime and grapefruit may help activating the natural detoxification process. Adding pungent herbs in your cooking like basil, fennel,caraway, dill, rosemary, garlic and onion will stimulate liver energy flow.
Bird Singing Spring
During the spring we can take advantages of the fresh green foods around us to lighten our bodies for the summer months ahead. A gentle whole foods detoxification can go a very long way to restoring harmony and health to your system. Green foods have heavy concentrations of chlorophyll that oxygenate the body and enzymes that rejuvenate the body. They are responsible for virtually every chemical reaction at the cellular level. Eat as many leafy green vegetables as you want, the deeper the green, the better! Mineral rich foods like root vegetables are also very important to include as they contain minerals essential to the optimal functioning of the body giving you energy and clarity.
Staying away from the most common toxic and inflammatory foods, ~refined sugar, artificial sweetener, alcohol,yeast, fried food, caffeine, homogenized dairy, gluten, processed foods, etc.~ increasing your intake of whole foods and keeping a balanced lifestyle are helpful ways to discharge accumulated toxins in your body.
Following a light whole food cleanse each season for a short period of time ~a week to 10 days~ give you an opportunity to find out more about your body and how you feel when you feed yourself highly nutritious foods. Once you are done, you may want to eat more in tune with the season, add more vegetables to your diet, and commit to eating less refined foods, sugar, wheat and salt. Reflect on what you learned from your own experience and continue to eat the foods that make you feel good and energized.
What foods work well for you on a cleanse?
Which foods will you continue to have on a regular basis?
This is a gentle yet effective infusion to support the liver, the organ associate with spring. The bitter herbs ~dandelion root and chamomile~ offer an excellent liver-cleansing effect, while the more pungent herbs ~spearmint- and lemon balm~ stimulate the liver out of stagnancy. The addition of honey and apple cider vinegar assures a smooth flow of emotional and physical energy and activates the detoxifying properties of this tea.
Lemon balm, spearmint, dandelion roots, chamomile leaves
1 tablespoon dried spearmint or 1 fresh sprig ~ mine survived the winter so I used fresh spearmint
1 tablespoon dried lemon balm or 1 fresh sprig ~ I used fresh from the garden
1 tablespoon dandelion root~usually very easy to find at health food store
1 tablespoon chamomile flowers ~ I used dried flowers
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Raw honey to taste
1.In a medium sauce pan, pour 1 1/2 liter of water, add the dandelion roots, bring to a small boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
2. After 3o minutes, remove from the heat. Add spearmint, chamomile and lemon balm. Allow steeping for 20 minutes.
3.Strain and discard the herbs.
4.Drink warm or room temperature, preferably on an empty stomach throughout the day.
4.When serving, add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon honey.
5.Keeps 2 days in the refrigerator.